Column: Diversity, inclusion part of the fabric of Goodwill

SAN ANTONIO — Goodwill San Antonio is reflecting on the accomplishments of the previous year, while looking forward to the promise of a new one. Like most, we resolve to continue our good practices and set our sights on new goals, which, for us, are centered around making a difference in our community and fulfilling our mission. One of our focuses this year is to continue to imbed and further operationalize our diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments within the organization.

Throughout our history, Goodwill has prioritized equitable inclusion of people of all ages, gender, race, national or ethnic origin, religion, language, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity and physical/mental ability. As demonstrated in our overall mission, we believe in accessibility for all and those who seek our support should see themselves reflected in our staff and leaders. For Goodwill, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is just who we are and is the fabric of our DNA.

This is why in 2022, Goodwill San Antonio invested in the development of the inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. The committee structure was designed to reflect the diversity and values of our employees and include representatives from all levels of the organization. Maintaining alignment with the organization’s strategies, principles and goals, the DEI Committee works towards providing a framework for new and existing DEI initiatives, policies, trainings, and activities across Goodwill San Antonio.

Our team is also committed to supporting similar causes within our surrounding community, which is why we are proud we had our team members participate in the recent 36th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March. Walking along with other community members in honor of Dr. King’s vision for justice, service, and civic engagement was one of many events that our DEI team will support this year.

Also this month, Goodwill was an active participant in San Antonio’s Dream Week, a city-wide summit that embraces the facets of diversity, equity and inclusion. Goodwill’s DEI efforts align perfectly with this year’s Dream Week theme of “Identity and Representation.” During the capstone event, we presented our take of the Goodwill Fashion Show by utilizing our team members to demonstrate our diverse workforce, while wearing outfits that represent their identities through sustainable fashion from our Goodwill stores.

At Goodwill San Antonio, we firmly believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion drive impact, whether it’s within our organization, or in the communities we serve. We, too, trust that if we continue to value our differences, together, we can be the dream.

Carlos J. Contreras, III is President & CEO at Goodwill San Antonio.

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